Thank you for sharing your knowledge about crafting handplanes so freely on the internet. You have certainly been instrumental in inspiring my son to make his first handplane. I would like to share his story with you.Last week, my 13 year old son Bobby, got the bug in his head to make himself a handplane after a conversation with a schoolmate whose dad had just made one out of a kitchen cutting board. Bobby was inspired by this friend's dad earlier this year, when he saw him riding a homemade alaia board one morning. So enamored was he by seeing this historic surf craft, that Bobby decided he was going to make one and ride it too. We humored him, and after he researched the internet to study techniques to make one, we bought him some supplies, and he made his alaia out of cedar from Home Depot. It was very difficult for him, to ride but he was stoked to have made it, and is very stoked to have it in his room.Well, last week, hearing about the handplane, he got inspired by his friend's dad again, so he asked us for a small piece of cedar to make a handplane.We obliged him, then let him do his research and drafting, then unleashed him to the yard to play with his design. By this time, we felt he could handle the tools safely, and he just blasted this handplane out in about four hours, outside on the lawn, anchoring the wood to a cinder block. He is obsessive when he gets an idea to make something so there is no stopping him.When I saw the handplane, at first I was totally proud of him. Then when he finished it with paint and polyurethane I was even more proud. But then... after he attached his strap to it, I burst his bubble by ignorantly exclaiming, " That thing is dangerous! You'll torque your little forearm and snap it in the shorepound!" Clearly I know nothing about the hydrodynamics of handplanes or any dangers associated with them... I just reacted clinically.He was frustrated by this to say the least.In my own defense, I'm a bit paranoid lately, since I recently witnessed my 15 year old daughter being attacked by a 6 foot bull shark while we were surfing, which thankfully did result favorably for her. I and two other nearby surfers got her safely back onto her board and paddled a flotilla of four, over a hundred yards back to shore. 38 stitches later, she has fully recovered and we all went surfing together a few weekends ago without incident.Well, I had to apologize for my freakish outburst to my son about his safety, and so I let him go to his friend's birthday party toting his prized handplane.This is the same friend whose dad inspired Bobby to start making wood wave riding craft and who happened to have his handplane at the birthday party.To everyone's delight, Bobby's little handplane was a huge hit.All the kids and adults were riding the shorepound with newfound exhilaration!Even the dad who inspired him to make his handplane kept borrowing Bobby's!That just stoked him out totally.I would love to surprise him with a Pauwlonia handplane crafted with him in mind.If you can shape one for him, that would be an amazing gift we could give him.I think the neutral buoyancy of paulownia, your padded strap, and padded area to rest the hand on will be wonderful.We do however live in the shark bite capital of the world, New Smyrna Beach, Fl. about a mile from the inlet, where my daughter was bitten, and I will not allow Bobby to swim out far even though the waves can be epic.Please advise about a custom handplane for him.It would be a wonderful surprise for his hard work in school this year.I offered to buy him a piece of Paulownia so he could shape another handplane, but he feels that he would not want to waste it.I may still buy him one as I have long been fond of Paulownia. In a project attempting to create shade on his elementary school's campus, I bought and planted fifty x 4 inch cloned Paulownia seedlings there 6 summers ago... but, only one survived to its giant glory, as the rest died of root rot in the back to back hurricane rains we had that summer.Thank you for your time and for sharing all of your wisdom!
Here are the Handplanes that I made for Bobby and Valeh. She donated the Blue one to the Marine Discovery Center. I also donated a Paulownia blank to Bobby's cause. Bobby is addicted to making handplanes.